FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 7, 2017

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Billy Brennan, 314/646-4633, Brennan@stlzoo.org
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639, Childs@stlzoo.org
Mike De Pope, 314/646-4703, DePope@stlzoo.org

Celebrate Raja's 25th Birthday on Dec. 27!

The Saint Louis Zoo's bull elephant, Raja (pronounced RAH zhä), will receive special presents to stomp open at 11 a.m. for his 25th birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at River's Edge in the Zoo, weather permitting. Visitors are invited to sing "Happy Birthday" and cheer for Raja.

Born on Dec. 27, 1992, Raja was the first Asian elephant born at the Zoo and has since sired four female calves – Maliha, Jade, Kenzi and Priya.

"We're very excited to celebrate Raja's birthday," said Martha Fischer, Curator of Mammals/Ungulates, Saint Louis Zoo. "It seems like it was just yesterday when Raja was born and from that day forward he's been beloved by so many."

For the party, zookeepers and volunteers have constructed birthday presents filled with some of the elephant's favorite things, including cereal, melons, bananas and popcorn. Large trees will be provided for the elephants to push over and encourage natural browsing. Other elephants from the family also may be celebrating with treats of their own in River's Edge.

From 10:30 to 11 a.m. (weather permitting), zookeepers will provide keeper chats and animal training demonstrations at the elephant habitats. The Zoo's three-generation Asian elephant family is thriving under the excellent care provided by a highly-trained professional animal care team.

After the celebration, visitors can sign a super-sized birthday card and learn more about the elephants and elephant conservation through keeper chats, activities and biofacts until 1 p.m. at Lakeside Cafe. Birthday cupcakes and hot chocolate will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit stlzoo.org/raja.

The Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on days of U.S. Bank Wild Lights when it closes to the public at 4 p.m. For a complete list of hours and information on Wild Lights, visit stlzoo.org/wildlights.

About the Saint Louis Zoo
Chosen as America's top free attraction and best zoo in USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Zoo attracts more than 3,000,000 visitors a year. For more information, visit stlzoo.org, facebook.com/stlzoo, instagram.com/stlzoo, twitter.com/stlzoo, Snapchat (saintlouiszoo), youtube.com/stlzootube and pinterest.com/stlzoo.

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